August 12, 2008

Pin Me Later

Malcolm Gladwell was right – we are connectors, mavens, and salesmen. In my opinion; in order to be truly successful, you need to be all three. Generalists were successful at one time, then it turned to the specialists, now it's all about the 360-view. You must understand everyone's role in order to better do yours.

The workplace is expanding into new territories. Technology is allowing us to be more portable and better connected. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting more done or truly being more linked.

The next time you’re at a convention, tally the number of people you see on their PDAs feverishly doing email versus the number of people in one-on-one actual personal conversations. We have this innate need to bond but are we causing a generation of thumbers over talkers and listeners?

I recently and reluctantly returned to the world of thumb communication.

The promise I made to myself was that I was going to use it as a tool and a resource this time and not live on the thing. That worked – for an hour. You have it on your hip and you feel the need to check every buzz no matter where you are.

On day two, I took it off the holster and locked it in the glove box while driving – there, temptation gone. Until I remembered it's also my phone. On day four, I found myself doing email on it – while in my office, with the laptop right there! Sound familiar?

I exchanged pins with one of my partners today and he was the first to finally cave and call. I had almost forgotten what his voice sounded like. It’s silliness. We convince ourselves that technology is helping us and making our lives more efficient but it is eroding conversation.

Try it next time someone sends you an email you pick up on your portable device – give them a call or better yet, set up a face-to-face meeting with your “phasors on stun” as a previous boss used to say. Turn off the PDA and have a chat. Oh and at the break during that next convention, see if you can be the last person to haul it off your hip.

You may get more done. Talk to you soon.


© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
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